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Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem Tha Canal of History and Culture
คลองผดุงกรุงเกษม สายน้ำแห่งประวัติศาสตร์และวัฒนธรรม
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วัฒนธรรมวิถีชีวิตและภูมิปัญญา

      ชาติไทยเรานั้นได้มีเอกราช มีภาษา ศิลปะ และขนบธรรมเนียมประเพณีเป็นของตนเองมาช้านานหลายศตวรรษแล้ว ทั้งนี้ เพราะบรรพบุรุษของเราได้เสียสละ อุทิศชีวิต กำลังกายและใจ สะสมสิ่งเหล่านี้ไว้ให้พวกเรา จึงจำเป็นอย่างยิ่งที่เราจะต้องรักษาสิ่งเหล่านี้ไว้ให้คงทนถาวรเป็นมรดกของอนุชนรุ่นหลังต่อไป
INTRODUCING CULTURAL THAILAND IN OUTLINE

      Thailand is a country on the mainland of Southeast Asia right in the middle of the Indo-Chinese Peninsula. On the north and west she has Burma as her neighbour, and on the north and east she borders on the Kingdom of the Laos and Cambodia and on the south just deep into the Malay Peninsula between the China Sea and the Sea of Bengal touching Malaysia.
THE ROYAL MONASTERIES AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE

      The great aim of Buddhism is to abolish suffering. As the causes of suffering are Greed, Hatred and Ignorance, the means to accomplish this great aim is to eradicate them.
SHADOW PLAY (The Naƞ)

      In B.E. 2490 (1947) a lecture was delivered under the auspices of the Siam Society in the theatre of the Royal Fine Arts Department on the subject of The Shadow-play as a possible origin of the Masked-play, to illustrate which the Department authorities kindly assisted by giving performances of the Naƞ* and the khōn the proscenium of the theatre.
THAI BUDDHIST ART (ARCHITECTURE)

      To trace the remote existence of the Thai in modern Thailand and to define their ethnical colonies since they began to settle in this golden country, to define when and where they started to manifest their artistic activity in relation to religion, and to state to what extent they intermingled with the Lawas, Mon-Khmer and Malayan races is not an easy task ; only our imagination may reconstruct the complex, long movement of the Thai migration into Thailand, their assimilation of higher cultures, and finally their gradual independence merging from the declining powers among which they had lived for so many centuries.
THAI LACQUER WORKS

      Among the applied arts made in olden days by the Thai, that of the design in gold leaf applied over black lacquer, rarely on red lacquer, was very important to decorate many objects for religious purposes and common uses.
THE KHŌN

      H.H. Prince Dhaninivat, Kromamün Bidyalabh Bridhyākorn was educated at Rugby School and Oxford University, where he took a second class in the Honour School of Oriental Studies and a B.A. On returning home he first served in the Ministry of the Interior and later became Chief of the Administrative Bureau of the Circle of Ayudhyā.
KHŌN MASKS

      The subject matter of the Khōn is taken from the Rāmakien, the Thai version of the Rāmāyana, an ancient Sanskrit legend. The major portion of the Rāmakien deals with the war between Rāma, the rightful King of Ayodhyā , and T́osakanth, the island of Lonkā’s evil King who had abducted Rāma’s beautiful wife, Sīta, and taken her to Lonkā.
CONTEMPORARY ART IN THAILAND

      A retrospective review of art in Thailand shows that after repetition in its own conventional style for hundreds of years it had reached at the end of the last century, a stage of inexpressive, stereotyped production. Only for inexpert persons and those influenced by a sense of the exotic, could such a kind of art still appear valuable.
THAI LITERATURE IN RELATION TO THE DIFFUSION OF HER CULTURES

      It was in the year 1283 A.D., memorable for the cultural history of Thailand, that Ramkhamhaeng the Great, the king of Sukhothai Kingdom, invented the Thai alphabet.
THE NATURE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE THAI LANGUAGE

      The Thai language as spoken by the people of Thailand is in its original structure, comparable to Chinese. Hence the two languages, i.e. the Thai and the Chinese, are philologically grouped together in the same family of languages. There are in both of these languages hundreds of similar words.
THE CUSTOM AND RITE OF PAYING HOMAGE TO TEACHERS OF KHŌN, LAKHON AND PIPHAT

      The custom and rite of “Paying Homage to Teachers” as prevalent among Khōn-Lakhon (โขน-ละคอน) dancers and Piphat musicians (ปี่พาทย์) demonstrate the profound reverence these artists have for their teachers. The guidance and instructions received from teachers play an important rôle in the forma- tion of a pupil’s character and fit him for living in civilized society.
THAI WOOD CARVINGS

      Wood is one of the commonest materials available in tropical countries, its use having no limitation neither for structural nor for artistic purposes. According to the temperament of the people who use it, works executed in wood reach such high artistic value as those treated with stone and bronze.
THE PRELIMINARY COURSE OF TRAINING IN THAI THEATRICAL ART

      Masked plays, dance-dramas and Thai ballets are considered to be the classical forms of histrionic art which are peculiar to the Thai and are the symbols of their original and highly developed civilization. The artists who can perform well have not only to be intelligent but must also be trained. Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy too has said “It is the action, not the actor, which is essential to dramatic art.
THAI TRADITIONAL SALUTATION

      The Thai sign of salutation or mutual recognition is to raise both hands, joined palm to palm, lightly touching the body somewhere between the face and chest. The higher the hands are raised, the greater is the respect and courtesy conveyed.
THAI MUSIC

      It is my intention, to give a personal talk on the technique of Thai music tonight; but before I begin, I must ask for your indulgence. Please do not expect from me a very comprehensive knowledge in this matter.
THAI MUSIC IN WESTERN NOTATION

      It is a great honour and pleasure for me to be here again, giving another talk on Thai Music in continuation of the one already given on August 22nd, 1947. Since then, I am glad to say that some developments have taken place to the good of Thai Classical Music. Firstly, the subject of my talk given on the said date has now been published by the Fine Arts Department,* so that those interested in our art will now be able to obtain a copy for reference.
AN APPRECIATION OF SUKHOTHAI ART

      Every important civilization has a golden age when material, intellectual and spiritual progress simultaneously reach a high level. The Sukhothai period was the golden age of Thailand and the determining factors were national independence and religion. No free people of the past have been ethically united without a common belief; for the Thai this belief was, as it is now, that of Hinayana Buddhism.
THAI IMAGES OF THE BUDDHA

      Perhaps more than any other country in the world, Thailand is the land of Buddha images. They range in size from tiny miniatures to huge giants. They are made of many different kinds of material-stone, plaster or terra cotta, crystal or jade, wood, ivory or metal.
WHAT IS A BUDDHA IMAGE?

      The tourist who comes to Bangkok and visits the monasteries —‘temples’ as they are commonly called— will see in every vihāra and ordination hall a Buddha image, nearly always larger than life-size and often colossal, occupying the place of honor; and he will see an indefinite number of lesser ones distributed in halls and galleries — often several hundred of them, and in certain monasteries more than a thousand.
THAI TRADITIONAL PAINTING

      The painting of Thailand is an art of great interest and sometimes of remarkable beauty. Although it must have been originally derived from the Buddhist painting of India and Sri Lanka (Ceylon) it became so adapted to local thought, needs and materials that by the time of its greatest popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries it must be considered an original and unique art.
THET MAHĀ CHĀT

      In the opening part of the Introduction to the book “Buddhist Birth Stories” Prof. Rhys Davids gives the following comment : It is well-known that among the Buddhist Scriptures there is one book in which a large number of old stories, fables and fairy tales lie enshrined in an edifying commentary: and have been thus preserved for the study and amusement of later times.
THE TOSACHĀT IN THAI PAINTING

      was a specialist in Asian Art who worked in Thailand under the Specialist Program of the United States Department of State. She became interested in Thai painting on her first visit in 1955 and made an extensive photographic survey of this traditional art throughout the country.
THE ROYAL PALACES

      he took a second class in the Honour School of Oriental Studies and a B.A. On returning home he first served in the Ministry of the Interior, and later became chief of the administrative bureau of the Circle of Ayudhyā. When King Rama VI came to the throne, he was appointed as the Private Secretary to the Queen Mother and later Private Secretary to the king (foreign correspondence section) as well as clerk of the Cabinet Council and Secretary of the Privy Council.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONAL MUSEUMS IN THAILAND

      was Director General of the Fine Arts Department from 1956 to 1968. He was born in Nakhon Sawan Province, Thailand, in 1907, and learned Pali at Wat Mahathat, Bangkok, in 1918. He was also a graduate of the ecclesiastical doctorate of Thailand. He entered into the government service in 1934 and became Chief of the Research Section of the National Library in 1943.
DHARMACAKRA(THE WHEEL OF THE LAW)

      was Director General of the Fine Arts Department from 1956 to 1968. He was born in Nakhon Sawan Province, Thailand, in 1907, and learned Pali at Wat Mahathat, Bangkok, in 1918. He was also a graduate of the ecclesiastical doctorate of Thailand. He entered into the government service in 1934 and became Chief of the Research Section of the National Library in 1943.
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